Friday, December 5, 2014

Origin Quilt for Mavericks Quilt Guild Challenge

The quilt guild I belong to, The Mavericks, finished up their challenge this month. The theme is "States of Mine", with two quilts - one depicting the Nature of Arizona (where we all currently reside) and the other depicting our Origins or something about the state (city, country, etc) where we grew up. I posted my Arizona quilt last month (see post dated Nov 20).

I was late with my origins quilt, as my Arizona quilt took me much longer than I expected. The show they are currently hung in was delayed, so I had the opportunity to finish it and get it in the show.

I'm originally from Ohio. I had a difficult time deciding what to do for this quilt. I originally wanted to do something with my grandparents farm, as I spent so much time there as a child. I took a photo a of the fall colors of my grandparents shed, where my grandfather always sat outside - no matter the weather. This is the image that always comes to mind, as I always saw Grandpa in that green metal chair in the opening of the shed whenever we pulled in the driveway. However, the challenge stated the quilt had to be 18" wide by 48" high. No matter how I played with the photo, it just didn't work in that format.

The second image I thought about using to make a quilt was one of the pond towards the back of the woods on my grandparent's farm. We played there year round - swimming and fishing in the summer, fishing in the spring and fall, and ice skating in the winter with bonfires and cookouts year-round. The pond and woods were my favorite playground as a child. However, the photo looked much better in a horizontal format, instead of a vertical format. No matter how I cropped it, I just wasn't happy with the composition.

I love looking at the moon, stars and constellations, which are much more difficult to see well in the city. My Dad gave me a love of astronomy by getting us (my siblings and I) up many nights at 2 or 3 am to look at the moon or stars in a telescope built by a great-Uncle. I remember watching Neil Armstrong orbit the moon through the telescope before they made history by landing on the moon. Neil Armstrong was from a town 20 miles from where I grew up. I had it - I'd paint the Milky Way for my Origin's Quilt.

I started with a piece of black batik cotton fabric to paint. I roughly sketched the Milky Way with an iron-out white fabric marker. Using Jacquard's white textile acrylic paint, I started painting in the background for the Milky Way.
Milky Way, 18"x48". I started painting the
background with Jacquard White Textile paint.

I tried several acrylic and watercolor paints on the black batik, but most of them did not show up. I finally had to use Shiva Oil Paintsticks to achieve the desired color I wanted for the starry background of the Milky Way. I no longer use the Shiva paintsticks as much, because of the strong odor. But they do look lovely on black fabric!
I used Shiva Oil Paintsticks to add color for the
background of the Milk Way to the black fabric.
 I continued with the white textile paint and the Shiva paintsticks to paint in the rest of the Milky Way and the background space for the stars.
Painting the Milky Way with Jacquard white
textile paint and Shiva Oil Paintsticks.
I started dotting in stars using the point of a paintbrush.  I used a toothbrush to splatter white paint to create hundreds of stars. Unfortunately, these weren't large enough. My husband found me a wire brush for removing rust on metal and this made lovely size stars when splattering paint on the fabric. With several sizes for stars between the toothbrush and the wire brush, the quilt had lovely depth to the Milky Way Galaxy.
Stars added to the Milky Way galaxy by splattering with a toothbrush and a wire brush.
 I left a black silhouette of a couple of small trees and a person (myself) standing with arms raised looking up at the Milky Way Galaxy. After waiting a couple days, for the oil paint to dry, it was ready to quilt. I found some patterns that created a "windy" effect on Pinterest. I combined a couple to free-motion quilt wind and clouds in my Milky Way quilt.
"Astronomy Lessons with Dad" - 18" x 48". My
Origin Quilt for the Maverick's 2014 quilt challenge. 
Close up to show some of the quilting details. 

I finished the edges using facing and added a sleeve and label on the back. People that saw my quilt asked me where I found such a wonderful panel -  that was high praise!! Others that saw only my photos asked me how I took pictures of the Milky Way. They were surprised to find out it was a quilt that I hand-painted. I'm very pleased!

It feels good to get both quilts completed and have them in the show in Scottsdale, AZ! Now I need to go see it. It hangs until the beginning of March, so I have time. Then it will go to the Arizona Quilt Guild's Annual Spring Show the end of March and to a show in Georgia sometime later in the year.

Keep creating!

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